Feminist Friday: Meet the other Mendelssohn
Let me introduce you to Fanny Mendelssohn. It was not unheard of for women to compose during her lifetime. But my historian's mind rests with Ms. M because of her exquisite talent, and what COULD have been. Not only what could of been, but what exists but is still unpublished and unknown. Her formidable gifts were eclipsed by those of her brother's well, because patriarchy. Her father even knew she was deeply talented and wrote in a letter to his daughter that her talent "can and must be only an ornament". It was not culturally accepted for a women of her status to have a public life as a composer and so she was encouraged not to publish her compositions during her brother's lifetime. Happily, her husband was not only an artist, but also much more encouraging of his wife's talent. Here are a few samples of her music. Here is hoping that we get to see much more of it published very soon.